Saturday August 18th 2012
The Civil Rights Game is an annual event that recognizes vigilant efforts of the contributors to the Civil Rights Movement. I had the honor and privilege to attend the event thanks to a very special friend over at Tumaini Publishing. The event was attended by families and close friends of Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and Bud Selig Commisioner. A few notable recipients of this years Beacon Award included Don Newcombe former League Player of the LA Dodgers, musical talents of Earth Wind and Fire, and long-time Civil Rights Activist and Congressman John R. Lewis.
Master of Ceremony for the event was first African-American and female evening news anchor in Atlanta Monica Pearson. Important highlights from the event came from the stories told by Hank Aaron, Don Newcombe, and John R. Lewis on the effect the Civil Rights Movement on their careers and how their careers had an effect on the Civil Rights Movement. Don Newcombe shared stories about serving in the U.S. Military in the 1950′s and then returning to segregated hotels in St. Louis where he played many of his games. Mr. Newcombe stated that he would never forget the difference that he and baseball legend Jackie Robinson integrated the Chase Hotel in St. Louis. John R. Lewis gave an oral recap on the Montgomery Alabama “Sit-ins’” and meeting the late Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, Lewis, recalled the segregated water fountains of the South and how as a young Black man he was influenced by all the great Civil Rights Activist such as Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, and Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr he found the courage to stand up for his self and others.
To sum things up, it was a great event. Despite so many of our successes we must keep in mind the struggles of our past. This event was more than just an award ceremony to me, it was an opportunity to reflect on our past. It’s often hard to imagine a world without many of the freedoms the Civil Rights Movement won not only for Black Americans but for all minorities living within the United States. As we enter into the upcoming election year we must keep these things in mind. And remind ourselves of the actions taken by others to secure the future that we would all be treated equally.
Please enjoy watching the links below to get a more in-depth understanding of the event:
Round-table discussion with Harvard Professor at Law Charles J. Ogletree and recaps from 2012 Civil Rights Game MLB
Also visit the National Center for Civil and Humanitarian Rights which is set to open in 2014